The Future is Here: Controlling Prostheses With Thoughts Alone

In 2009, the National Library of Medicine reported that over 158,000 amputations were performed each year and that number has been and will continue to increase. The use of prosthetic rehabilitation has potential to restore lost locomotive or functional abilities and effectively improve one’s quality of life. However, many prosthetic limbs are extremely limited in their capabilities and overall usefulness, likely contributing to the significant amputee population that don’t use a prosthesis.

 

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Now, amputees can have the ability to control their bionic prosthetic limbs with their minds through the use of tiny implanted myoelectric sensors developed by Icelandic company Ossur, according to a report by Reuters. Researchers and developers from Ossur implanted the tiny sensors in the residual muscle tissue of two amputees to trigger movement in the prosthesis through a receiver. The orthopaedics company says the implant procedure only requires local anaesthesia and is fairly quick and straightforward. Impulses go from the brain into muscles, causing the muscles to contract. The sensors in the muscles pick up the signals from the brain and the signals can move into the prosthetics causing the limb to react as the brain wants. One of the two amputees has been living with the Ossur prosthetic for over a year and the company plans to further assess the technology with clinical trials.

 

Check out the complete article published by Reuters, here.

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